Finnish Trainer Colours 1930 - 1945

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Editor: Roger Wallsgrove
Authors: Kari Stenman
Illustrators: Andrzej Olejniczak and Karolina Holda
ISBN
978-83-67227-09-4
E-Book ISBN
8367227093
Other Publication Information
Hard Cover, Square Bound, A4 [8.63” x 11.94”], 272 pages
MSRP
$65.00
Product / Stock #
White Series, Rainbow 9154
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
Front Cover

One of the latest in Mushroom Model Publications’ White Series, Finnish Trainer Colours 1930-1945 follows up earlier volumes on Finnish aircraft: 2021’s Finnish & German Seaplane Colours 1939-1945; 2018’s Finnish Jet Colours; 2018’s Finnish Bomber Colours, 1939-1945; 2015’s Finnish Fighter Colours, 1939-1945, Volume 2; and 2014’s Finnish Fighter Colours, 1939-1945, Volume 1. MMP is calling this book part of their "Rainbow Series." I'm guessing that refers to their large format camouflage and markings set of books in their "White" series that have addressed Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and Sweden. This series seems to share a commonality of discussing the specific topic of the evolution of a countries' evolution in markings. To that end, this book utilizes many previously un-published pictures and focuses in on individual aircraft to supplement with superb color illustrations.

Kari Stenman is the foremost authority on the Finnish Air Force in World War II, having written over a dozen books on the subject since the late 1960s. He is the co-author of the successful Aircraft of the Aces volume on Finnish fighter pilots and runs his own publishing company in Finland.

Karolina Holda has illustrated several books for MMP. Some of these titles include: Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945 Volume 1 (White); Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945 Volume 2 (White); Finnish Bomber Colours 1939-1945 (White); Finnish Fighters WWII (Camouflage & Decals 3); Messerschmitt Bf 109F (Camouflage & Decals 5); and Petlyakov Pe-2 & Upe-2 / Tupolev USB (Polish Wings 26).

The book is a nice hardbound, with a glossy cover, and 272 pages on high-quality stock with a matt finish. The text is in English and although there are a few spelling issues, it is quite readable. The front cover features a colour (or probably colorized) photograph of a VL Pyry I advanced trainer with the code PY-18. This photograph was taken at Kauhava in July 1941 and is also shown on Page 140 in black and white along with a color profile by Andrzej Olejniczak. Interestingly, the underwing light grey color wraps around to the top of the wing. The yellow band is also forward of its normal position. I counted 400 black and white period photographs to go with an additional 8 period color pictures. You will also find 30 tables full of data. Andrzej Olejniczak provides 146 color illustrations along with several scrap color illustrations highlighting unit or aircraft specific markings along with some top and bottom views.

This book describes in detail the camouflage and markings of all trainers and liaison aircraft used by the Finnish Air Force from 1930 to 1945. This includes basic, advanced, twin-engine, and gunnery trainers. The organization and units of the training schools is addressed up front and then Kari Stenman dives into the individual aircraft that saw service. This profusely illustrated book includes many historical photographs that are supported by illustrated profiles showing the colors and markings carried by the aircraft. Page 19 showcases one of the few WWII period color photographs, in this case of a Bristol Blenheim being refueled ‘old-school’ at Luonetijarvi on March 31, 1944.

The VL Saaski (Mosquito) was a competitor to the de Havilland Tiger Moth that served in the Finnish Air Force. The Finns ultimately bought 33 of these aircraft, primarily to keep the VL factory open. Page 43 shows a good example of the table that nearly every aircraft covered in this volume includes. Page 103 displays the use of color profiles by Andrzej Olejniczak to add more life to the black and white photographs. Here, the focus is on the Swedish import, the ASJA J6B Jaktfalk II, of which the Finnish Air Force utilized three aircraft. All three aircraft have nice clear black and white photographs with two of them being supported by the color profiles. Another example of this detail is show on Page 176 with the Ilyushin DB-3M of which the Finnish Air Force had five airframes. The aircraft addressed in this book can be seen in the following contents:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Foreword
  • Trainers for a New Air Force
  • Aviation Schools
    • Lentosotakoulu
  • Winter War
  • Continuation War
  • After the War
  • Supplement Regiments
    • T-LentoR 1
    • T-LentoR 2
    • T-LentoR 4
    • T-LLv 39
    • Taydennyslentorykmentti
    • Taydennyslentolaivue 17 [Page 019]
    • Taydennyslentolaivue 25
    • Taydennyslentolaivue 35
  • Basic Trainers
    • Letov S-218A Smolik
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • VL Saaski I, II, IIA, and IV
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table] [Page 043]
    • De Havilland D.H. 60X Moth and D.H. 82 Tiger Moth
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • VL Viima I, II, and IIB
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Focke-Wulf Fw 44 J Stieglitz
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
  • Advanced Trainers
    • Gloster Gamecock I and II
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • ASJA Jaktfalk II
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table] [Page 103]
    • Bristol Bulldog II and IVA
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Gloster Gauntlet II
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Polikarpov I-15bis
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • VL Pyry I
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Fokker D,XXI
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Fokker C.X
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
    • Fiat G.50
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
  • Twin Engine Trainers
    • Avro Anson I
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Ilyushin DB-3M
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table] [Page 176]
    • Hanriot H.232
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Bristol Blenheim I
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Airspeed AS.6E Envoy
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Tupolev SB
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
  • Gunnery Trainers
    • VL Tuisku
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Aero A-32GR
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Blackburn Ripon IIF
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Fokker C,V
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • Serials
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Koolhoven F.K.52
      • Purchase
      • Employment
      • Colours
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
  • Liaison Aircraft
    • Beechcraft C-17L Traveler [Page 247]
    • Cessna C-37 Airmaster
    • Desoutter II
    • Fairchild 24G
    • Junkers A 50 Junior
    • VL Kotka
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
    • Fiesler Fi 156K-1 Storch
    • Polikarpov U-2
      • S/N / C/N / Delivered / Struck Off Charge / Remarks [Table]
  • Camouflage & Markings
  • National and Registration Markings
  • Camouflage
  • Warpaint
  • Eastern Front Markings
  • Trainer Colours
  • Abbreviations [Table]
  • National Insignia and Registration Markings
  • Colours
  • Winter War
  • Warpaint
  • DN-Colour
  • Eastern Front Markings
  • Finnish Air Force Seaplane Colours [Table]
  • Bibliography

One topic that I really enjoyed was in the section on the Beechcraft C-17L Traveler (see Page 247]. She was previously flown as ZS-BBC and OH-BCI. This aircraft arrived from Denmark on March 10, 1940 through a private donation to the Finnish Air Force. The Traveler was stored until August 18, 1942 when she was activated and assigned serial number BC-1 (c/n 124). She carried the nickname of “Kalle-Kustaa”. Her primary role was as a luxury liaison transport for the military senior command. Note the fixed ski landing gear that was fitted as shown in the two photographs. She managed to log 230 hours before she was written off on January 27, 1945. Post-War she flew as OH-PKA until being destroyed in a crash on December 3, 1947.

This is easily one of the more complete books available in the English language on Trainers in Finnish service. To really dig deeper on any one type, you will need to brush up on your Finnish and grab some of the Kari Stenman’s earlier books and journals, especially in the Suomen Ilmavoimien Historia series. I was extremely impressed with the coverage and quality of this title. Kari Stenman was able to incorporate a tremendous amount of information and still manage to provide a compelling and readable storyline for each type. To see a video of the book’s contents, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hs-VMyho2c&t=7s.

My thanks to Casemate, Mushroom Model Publications, and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this excellent book.

Highly recommended!

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